Happy New Year, Tigers Fans!
Because I am always told by Fearless Leader Sam that I “do too much” for the Links, I might as well go out on a high note in 2020 (since I’m writing this on NYE while watching my Pels beat OKC) and keep up the tradition, eh? You’ve been warned...
S readers of our fair site, may 2021 bring you, among other things, health & wellness, vaccinations, happiness (especially if you’ve been struggling with mental health during the pandemic), job security (or a new job if you are looking or hate yours), close non-social distanced times out with friends and family, and well-deserved vacations. If I’m missing something, please do let me know, as these are definitely things I would like to have happen in the new year.
I’d like a shiny new job (not that box store hasn’t been good to me when Mizzou laid me off— they have, and I LOVE the vast majority of my coworkers), to keep growing my small business (link in case you care, lol), to continue to trust my skills and my colleagues’ faith in me and write more besides Links posts for you people, to be able to see my parents (hi, Mom & Dad) and my brother & his beautiful fam in Florida, to go to Mizzou sporting events and have it be CROWDED, to get to see my college friend/Rock M contributor, Ryan Faller again, and so much more. SO MUCH MORE.
But this is a Mizzou sports site, so I’ll get back to that. I wish for our teams (Mizzou and the others you may cheer for) to leave us feeling overjoyed at the progress they’ve made.
For Coach Pingeton’s squad, I wish for you health (no more Covid issues!) and continuity so that everyone can truly see what your deep roster can do as they play together more and more. I wish for you improved FT shooting, less fouls, and to pull some upsets in a REALLY strong SEC.
For Cuonzo’s team, I wish for you better shooting and control of the basketball. And may that happen sooner (like, right now) rather than later. I wish for Torrence to become a regular contributor again, and for critics of this team and this staff to be silenced because there’s so much awesomeness going on.
For Mizzou Gymnastics, I wish for you an unbelievable season where you build upon last year’s success. Starting the season as preseason #16 is awesome, so let’s see how high you can get (in the air on your routines and in the rankings) as your season kicks off on January 8.
For Mizzou Football, I wish for you an exciting quarterback competition between Connor Bazelak, Brady Cook, and newcomer Tyler Macon. I wish for you continued excellence by Rock M’s favorite player, The Thiccer, and big recruiting wins that lead to more Drink viral videos. I wish for a productive receiving corps, largely healthy position groups so we don’t repeat the shorthanded-ness from this season, and NFL success/big paydays for the Larrys, Nick Bolton, and whomever else makes it on to the pros.
For Tiger Style, I wish for your continued conference dominance, and that you start your season on January 8 at Hearnes just like it finished last season (win over ranked team, wins in 8/10 of matches, etc). We will be seeing many Tigers perform well at the National Championships if their offseason bouts are early predictors of success.
For Beiser Ball, I wish for continued excellence at home at Taylor Stadium, an NCAA regional berth, All-American honors for Brandt Belk, and the other accolades that will undoubtedly come the Tigers’ way.
For Softball, I wish you to start the new season just like you did last year, kicking some ass and taking names. With the vast majority of your team returning and an excellent recruiting class, I wish for national recognition because you deserve it.
And for the other sports not listed, I will strive to learn more about you and write more about you, but know I wish you all success in the regular season and postseason.
Here’s to 2021 and hoping all our sports make us as happy as Javon & JT were in this photo. (This is one my fave pics of the year, thanks Mizzou Hoops IG)
To the Links!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Yours truly previewed Robin Pingeton’s Tigers squad ahead of their first conference match up.
- Sam compiled and analyzed all the not-so-pretty stats in his new Study Hall.
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Sam compiled a non-con Study Hall for women’s hoops. Check it out, as it goes along with what I wrote today. Aaron looked at three ways Mizzou Football can be elevated. Matt diagnosed Mizzou’s shooting woes. If you need to be reminded of why you should root for the Tigers, READ MY PIECE WITH RJ.
Football & Hoops News
- PowerMizzou (free): Mitchell Forde handed out the Mizzou Football season grades. Mitchell and Gabe were back with more football and basketball hot taeks in their final Blowing Smoke of the year.
- The Athletic ($$): Peter Baugh gave the inside scoop on how Mizzou ended up hiring Eli Drinkwitz, which involved a private plane, a pick up truck, and a Hampton Inn. MUST READ (if you’re a subscriber)!
- Columbia Tribune: Kevin Graeler looked at how Mizzou Football is trying to close the gap in the SEC.
- In the new year, Coach Drink is asking YOU to commit to the New Zou... in terms of season ticket sales.
- Nick Bolton. Second Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association.
Hoops & Other Mizzou Sports News
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: BenFred wrote about how Tennessee showed Missouri what the top of the SEC looks like, and made some predictions for Missouri sports in what he hopes is a more predictable 2021 (side note: love the hoops prediction). Matter was back with a New Years Eve chat, answering questions about football and basketball.
- KC Star: Souichi said there’s no need for an overhaul, but Mizzou must fix their cracks after the Tennessee debacle.
- Columbia Tribune: Eric Blum detailed the 5 things we learned by Mizzou’s loss to Tennessee, as well as 3 things we learned by Mizzou Women’s Hoops loss to Alabama on Thursday.
- PowerMizzou (free): Briar Napier recapped the women’s hoops loss.
- Columbia Missourian: Joel Lorenzi wrote about how Mizzou Hoops looks to straighten up and handle Arkansas after Wednesday’s disappointing game. Shannon Belt wrote about how MU’s shutdown in the second half led to their loss against Alabama.
- News Tribune: Colin O’Brien recapped the women’s SEC opener.
- KOMU: Ben Arnet wrote about how Mizzou Women’s Hoops remains a work in progress after Alabama ended their 3 game win streak.
- Columbia Missourian (more): Courtney Perrett wrote that MU’s Esports Rocket League, in just their third semester, will compete in the Collegiate Rocket League Finals. According to the article, the Rocket League is a varsity-level esport with a roster made up of fully enrolled MU student gamers sponsored by the university’s Division of Student Affairs.
- New RPI rankings notes, courtesy of Rock M writer Sammy Stava on the twitter.
- Happy New Year from Mizzou Hoops!
- Mizzou Hoops faces Arkansas on Saturday at 11am, and Justin Smith, the Indiana grad transfer who has been a big defensive presence and a starter for the Hogs is questionable for the game with an ankle injury, according to Rivals’ Andrew Hutchinson. ($$)
- Big props to Mizzou Baseball for getting it done in the classroom!
Various Non-Mizzou Sports News
- Analis Bailey of USA Today looked at heartwarming sports moments of 2020, which provided some joy during a dark year.
- Gabe Lacques of USA Today looked at 20 sports figures who defined courageous and kind, selfish and stubborn.
- Paul Myerberg of USA Today wrote about the lessons and changes college football programs are going to take from dealing with COVID-19.
If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
(** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate nks.**)